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China: Always Stuck in Second Gear

Yesterday, I started the day by going to the China Museum. The Museum was surprisingly interesting-I expected only the usual vases and ceramics, but there was a compelling display called "The Road to Rejuvenation", which was a display of ration cards, gifts from other countries, after World War II. There we're other cool displays such as small signs from companies like Texaco and other foreign companies during the period which China suffered the humiliation of being occupied by foreign powers, and nearly being a colony. i learned that the HSBC bank, which is a British Bank-was always a British Bank despite the name-(Hong Kong Shanghai Bank)-it was set up by Great Britain when China was nearly a colony.


The rest of the museum was the usual collection of vases and ceramics which i expected, but even that was rather interesting.

After that, I got on the metro about 6 stops, changed to another metro, took the metro one stop-walked for about 20 minutes to an office building, took the elevator to the 6th floor, and found Central Perk, which is world renowned. A while back, I mentioned how Friends is shown in just about every hostel, a show which is nice to see due to nostalgia, but i never particularly loved. Well this is a cafe dedicated to Friends. Friends is on tv all the time, and just like the cafe in the show, (with the same name), there is old, ratty, furniture. I ordered some type of fancy coffee drink and a banana nut muffin (supposedly that is what was ordered in the show). While i was there, the episode was on where an elderly hermit neighbor who complains that the Friends crowd was too noisy unexpectedly dies, and leaves them as benefactors in his will. Upon checking out his apartment, Chandler, who is worried about dying alone, learns that the he shared many of the same interests as the old neighbor-and therefore he might take the same course.


Sort of a stupid episode, like the Jump the Shark type that comes towards the end of a series-but due to the fact that Chandler and Monica weren't together yet (and the twin towers are featured in the lead-in shots), this was somewhat early in the show's run. As with many famous places, Central Perk was somewhat underwhelming.

Later I took the metro to the bell and drum towers, which also we're underwhelming, but it was a nice night, and I walked along.


Posted by DavidPearlman 15:44 Archived in China

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